They were generally accompanied by the whole Woodburn family, always by Lulu and Grace, Grandma Elsie, Rose, Walter, and Evelyn Leland.
Thus the weeks flew by very enjoyably and on swift wings, and the time came for Max’s return to Annapolis. So the Dolphin was headed for that port and presently steamed away again, leaving the lad behind with a rather sad heart at the thought that years must pass before he could again spend even a brief season under his father’s roof.
It is summer again, the summer of 1893, for two years have passed away since the occurrence of the events related in our former chapter. There have been few changes among our friends at Ion, Woodburn, and the other plantations belonging to the family connection, except such as time brings to all. The elder ones seem scarcely any older, but the younger ones are growing up. Elsie’s sons, Harold and Herbert, are now practising physicians, still making their home at Ion, but having an office in a neighboring village; Rosie has attained her twentieth year and entered society; but Walter is still one of Captain Raymond’s pupils, as are Lulu and Grace, now blooming girls of fifteen and seventeen, their father’s joy and pride and as devotedly attached to him as ever.
Max is still a cadet in the Naval Academy, pursuing his course there in a manner altogether satisfactory to his father and friends. The captain thinks no man ever had a brighter, better son than his first-born, or one more likely to do good service to his country in his chosen profession. It seems hard at times, a sad thing to have to do without his boy, yet he never really regrets that Max has made choice of the naval service as his life work. He did, however, regret that Max would not be able to go to Chicago to visit the World’s Fair, in which they were all much interested.
Some of the connection had attended the dedication ceremonies of the previous autumn, and nearly all talked of going to the formal opening, appointed for the first of May; among them Grandma Elsie, her father and his wife, Captain Raymond and his wife and family. The captain’s plan was to go by water—in his yacht—up along the coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, through that up the river of the same name, through the Welland Canal and round Michigan by the great lakes to Chicago, and he invited as many as his vessel could well accommodate—including, of course, his wife’s mother and grandparents—to be his guests for the trip.
The younger gentlemen and their wives all preferred going by rail as the speedier way, but Mr. Dinsmore, having no longer any business to attend to, and both he and his wife being fond of the sea and desirous of keeping with his eldest daughter, accepted the invitation promptly and with pleasure.
Mr. Ronald Lilburn, too, having a like taste as to his mode of travel, and no business engagements to hurry him, availed himself of the opportunity to make the journey by water. The other passengers were Evelyn Leland and Rosie and Walter Travilla.